Can food affect mood?
You are what you eat. We’ve all heard this cliché numerous times and there’s a lot of truth in it.
A healthy balanced diet has a big effect on how we feel mentally. Our mood, energy levels and self-esteem are all impacted by the quality of our diet.
Food for thought…
Here’s the science – stick with us, it’s important we understand this part…
Our brains need a consistent supply of fuel (food) to function effectively.
If our diets largely consist of processed food along with refined carbs and sugars (think pasta, fries, pizza, white bread and sugary desserts) we’re gonna feel tired and low on energy.
If we fill up on nourishing food packed with minerals, vitamins, protein, healthy fats and slow-release carbs then we’re giving our brain, and body, the substances necessary to function at its optimum.
There are tons of studies that back this up and signal a link between a diet high in refined sugars and a worsening of mood disorders (such as depression).
So, how do I manage my mood with food?
Cutting out refined carbs and sugars isn’t easy but small swaps soon add up and make a huge difference to your overall wellbeing. We’d suggest stocking up on wholesome foods that have been proven to improve your mood along with your overall health.
Try out some of the foods below to boost your diet and mental wellbeing.
6 foods that can lift your mood:
fatty acids are a group of essential fats that cannot be produced by our bodies, they must be consumed. Fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 and play a key role in our brain development.
Nutri Bar offer a grilled salmon wholemeal pasta box to help get these fats into your diet – experts suggest eating fish two to three times a week.
A fab source of iron and fibre which helps slow down our digestion of carbs meaning we get a gradual release of sugar into our bloodstream. This keeps our energy and blood sugar levels stable, which is important for controlling mood swings and irritability.
Oats can be enjoyed many ways, we’re a big fan of overnight oats but there’s also granola and muesli too! However our favourite way to consume them is in our Nutri Balls – energy balls bursting with natural ingredients and made freshly on site at Nutri Bar.
A top source for natural sugar, vitamin B26 (which helps produce feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin) and prebiotic fibre (which helps feed healthy bacteria in your gut).
They all work together to keep blood sugar levels steady and, you guessed it, helps to keep our mood stable.
Some of the healthiest foods you can eat! Big statement but hear us out… they’re low in calories but high in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. Many berries have proven health benefits such as lower blood pressure and reduced oxidative stress (which can lead to fatigue, brain fog and headaches).
Diets rich in antioxidants can help to manage inflammation which is associated with depression and other mood disorders
Nuts and seeds
High in plant-based proteins, healthy fats and fibre nuts and seeds have been linked to improvement in brain function.
They also provide an amino acid called tryptophan which is responsible for generating mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, walnuts and peanuts are all top sources alongside sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Great news – chocolate made our list! Why? Dark chocolate is rich in compounds that often increase feel-good chemicals in our brains. It’s rich in flavonoids which have been proven to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow to our brains and boost brain health. Moderation is key, we recommend sticking to 2-3 small squares per serving as it’s a high calorie food.